Thursday, August 31, 2006
I am here. I'll be back. I promise;)
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
You can find me at the CWO team blog today!;)
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Interesting things about Mothering Sons.....
- The same boys who put WORMS in my refrigerator, (tucked into the back, and then forgotten) will find bras hanging to dry in the laundry room disgusting.
- Boys know what mold tastes like. (I don't want to know)
- Boys think underwear is reversible, for extended wear.
- To boys-socks that are "crunchy" but sitting on the table, are not dirty, they are being "aired out" and will be fine to wear, by morning.
- Boys that are the size of men, may be thrown into a pool, but, they will hurt their fathers later, for doing it. The father won't admit to being injured, but he will be.
- Boys eat things after they've been on the floor... while mumbling something about a 20 second rule.
- For boys, punching DOES solve problems.
- Boys think that food is anything you can put in your mouth.
- For boys, clean has nothing to do with an absense of dirt, it has everything to do with reaching a limit of desired effort. (It's clean- cause I'm done cleaning it)
- Boys KNOW they are not supposed to take glasses of "stuff" into their rooms, but they are compelled to use their "space" for experimentation, in at home penicillum production. It's genetic.
- Boys know that creating disgusting smells can be a sport.
- Boys may be tempted to write "can belch the alphabet" on their first job application under "skills"
- Boys think one pair of shorts a pair of underwear and 2 shirts is enough to pack for a weeks vacation. They don't need socks, they'll be barefoot. Things to sleep in? Duh, that's what the extra underwear are for.
- Boys use the area under their bed, for composting.
- Boys throw rocks, so do men. and old men. They also skip rocks. They also try to BREAK rocks by throwing rocks at big rocks. I don't get it. They just do it.
- Boys can remember every statistic for every player of every sport, but they will forget what you told them to do, AS YOU ARE SAYING IT.
- Boys do not know what they want, when going "back to school shopping" but it will certainly NOT be, whatever Mom picks out.
- Boys will always laugh when someone passes gas.
- Boys will always laugh, when someone passes gas.
- Unless it's Mom, then it's "Disgusting"
I love my boys. I don't understand them, but, I love 'em.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
The Long and Winding Road..... (gotta love the Beatles)
Todays Food for Thought :
8/24/2006I am the Lord thy God...which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. (Isaiah 48:17b)
Read Isaiah 48 along with us today -----------
I envy my kids. No, really- sometimes I do. Not in the "I wish I had it so bad... you have so few responsibilities.. you're life is so rough" sort of way...(OK, sometimes that way too ;) But that's not my point.
Sometimes I envy their trust in their Father. This picture just captures it for me. Noah and Dad, sitting and discussing the world, planning their journey of exploration across the beach.
"Come on, Noah, We're going for a walk."
That's all it takes. Noah is ready to go, where ever his Daddy will lead him. He asks questions as they walk, but not usually about WHERE their going or what ROUTE they will take... just about "stuff" as Daddy calls it, when he's telling me about their talks and walks.
We're getting ready for a car trip this weekend, it's a journey we've made time after time. The 5 hour (ummm or longer if we need to stop at the outlet mall) ride, is peppered with questions. Yes- all three kids ask the ubiquitous question "Are we there yet?" And, the ever annoying "How much longer?" But I don't remember them EVER asking.. "Dad, are you sure you know where you're going?" or "Dad, I really doubt we'll get there this way" or even "Dad, are you driving in circles?"
My kids- even my teenagers (!), trust their Dad's leading.
You'd think, that after all these years of exploring God, I'd trust Him enough to just follow His lead, without doubting He knows how to get where He's taking me. Without asking questions like these:
" Lord- I know you SAID we're traveling in this direction... but I just don't see us getting there from HERE!" (I remember praying that question specifically, when we were totally convinced that we were to buy our first house.. but had no money for a down payment...God had a differnt method than I suggested...)
"Lord, I know you SAID you'd complete the good work you began in me..... but it looks like you stalled on the job" (I remember praying this when struggling through some marriage issues..God had even bigger plans in mind than what I thought needed to change..)
"Lord, I don't get it- you SAID you were restoring the years the locusts had eaten... but now this loss? The way your taking me isn't going to get us to your promise!" (It is
When I look back- at my path, I can always see God's wisdom in routes. He's always had so much more in mind than I could understand.
But in the middle of the following? I question. Because, sometimes, God's leading doesn't make sense. (not to me, anyway)
See, I have issues. I think each path should be planned out for maximum effeciency. I Leave my house-planning to make the "loop"... I drive down one route- because I can make "all my stops" without back-tracking and wasting time. I multi-task. (you can see my post the yesterday- about how that works for me;)
If I'm I'm, in the livingroom, and I need to go to the bathroom, I know I have to pass through the kitchen, so I look around to see if I there are any dirty cups or dishes or garbage to take into the kitchen on my way. Maximizer Maximus.
(Or maybe I'm lazy, and don't want to go out of my way, later;)
In my journey with God? Let's just say The "way I shouldest go"
be a straight line. But, a straight line is the shortest route between two points! Told you- it doesn't make sense.
Sometimes I feel like it's a walk in the desert. Everything looks the same, and it's hot and exhausting. Sometimes He leads me on a meandering beach walk. Picking up sea shells of truths, without really noticing what direction I'm going. Just walking.
Then there are times, when I feel like I'm holding God's hand through a frightening dark maze.
All the while... I'm asking my questions.
Am I old? Am I jaded? (maybe) Or am I just human? Maybe I have "father issues"... (well, yeah I suppose I do. How can you not when you grow up with pot (ocassionally) growing in your back yard, and it belongs to your dad? My Dad struggled with substance abuse until 17 years ago)
I'm not sure. But I'll tell you this, sometimes I envy my kids, I envy their trust in their Daddy's leading.
A father once asked Jesus to heal his son, "if He could" .......(click the Mark 9 below to read the rest..)Mark 9 23" 'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."
24Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
The man had faith-(or he wouldn't have asked) he believed- yet he admits to struggling. How did Jesus respond? Jesus healed his son.Dear Lord- I see myself in this father... believing, yet struggling. I pray the words of the father "God I believe, help me overcome my unbelief" especially when the paths that you lead me in don't "make sense" to me. I know that your way is the way I should go- I love you Lord- and I trust you! Help me to be more like my boys- and follow where ever you lead! amen
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Multi-Taskin Momma's Stovetop Drama
Up at 5:30, meeting at the High School at 7:00 a.m. CWO Team blog post written in advance, laundry in process for upcoming vacation... packing already started... it was only 8:30 a.m. "I'm on a roll" I thought.
I decided to start dinner in the crock pot, while the next load of laundry started, the dishwasher ran and I checked my e-mail. Noah helped prep the veggies, and coat the beef with seasoned flour, then I tossed it in the pan to brown. We were making: Beef stew. (ummm yes I know it's August, but I'm thinking fall;)
We ended up with melted spatula fondue.
Oops. While the meat browned, the dishwasher ran the washer and dryer whirred, I logged in.... BIG MISTAKE. I couldn't hear the meat sizzling. I umm... must have lost track of time. Until I noticed the faint scent of burning plastic.
I left the spatula in with the meat. The second pic shows how my spatula responded to the browning process. It didn't enjoy it.
Multi-tasking is no longer just a buzz-word. It's a life style. I've been known to have every appliance I own working at the same time, while I listen to podcasts, check my e-mail and knit while things update and load. This leads to ocassional "meltdowns."
Like my spatula, I don't always respond well to the heat, of multi-tasking. Details are missed, and I endup overheated and exhausted. Worse, I sometimes end up like my spatula, melted down and curling up at the edges, cranky and frustrated.
It's important to slow down. (I'm learning this the hard way, of course;) How can I be effective in my home, my family ministry and life, if I've got every burner cranked to "high" and I'm melting like a spatula in a hot pan?
I need to cool off. For the next 24 hours, I am going to focus on one task at a time. ONE. I wonder if the world will fall apart? I wonder if necessary things won't get done? To be honest, the whole idea makes me a little nervous.
But- in order to avoid a bigger meltdown- I'm willing to give it a try;)
Will you join me?
Dear Lord- Please help me to focus, first on you, then on each task as it needs to be done. I ask you to help me to prioritize my objectives, and honor you with each task- Help me to learn from my spatula drama, and not over-do the multi-tasking! I love you Lord- Amen!
Deuteronomy 2:7 The LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast desert. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.
Colossians 3:23And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Ps--- no worries- dinner is in the crock pot- the plastic didn't touch the beef;)
Although, maybe we should go out;)
Monday, August 21, 2006
Mommy, you taste salty. Well, I hope SO!
"Salt, when dissolved in water, may disappear, but it does not cease to exist. We can be sure of its presence by tasting the water. Likewise, the indwelling Christ, though unseen, will be made evident to others from the love which He imparts to us."~Sadhu Sundar Singh~
I was sitting on the couch, knitting away. Suddenly, my left shoulder felt funny. It felt warm. Then, just as quickly, it felt cold. Noah laughed:
"Mommy, you taste salty".
He LICKED me.
Gross. (Another of his favorite games, is to chase me across the room threatening to lick me and gross me out. Boys. Gotta love em. ;) Have you ever noticed how young children touch, smell, examine and yes, TASTE everything? Every mom will tell you," that's how they learn
. " (It's even how my oldest learned that "Bugs are crunchy"
What you're thinking? Yeah, he did. A Pill Bug
. Nasty. )
But, it made me think. Am I? Am I salty? (Hmmm. maybe, I need to shower.; ) Back to salty, I should be.
"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
Because of how children learn, parents (and caregivers) have a unique need for "saltiness."
Children learn by their senses, so- the concept of a God that they can't see or feel is hard for them to understand. If we are full of the love of God, we become concrete
representations of the love of God, to our children. His love dissolved in our lives, becomes a salty-taste of Him, for the children we love.
Jesus can't be "seen" or "touched", but-when His love is evident in our lives, and parents are "licked" He can be "tasted". ;)
So the question is, Am I salty? Are you?
I'm going to spend some time with the one who fills my salt shaker.....
Dear Lord- fill my with your love, for my family my kids and those around me, make me salty with it Lord- I love you -amen!
Sunday, August 20, 2006
"Help Meet" It's not something you barbecue
Todays post is not about MEAT, or barbecue. Though if the weather holds out maybe tomorrows will be;) but it is about being a HELP MEET, you can find it at Missional Mom.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Knitting and where to find my posts today;)
Here is whats ON and off my knitting needles.... Clockwise:
Top: My KSKS Bag in process....I promise it's prettier in person.... I'm, thinking chocolate colored silk lining... it will be Mint Chocolate chip by the time I'm finished;)
Right- the grey is Kid Silk Haze in a pretty silver... for YES another Kiri. On my Knit picks Options.... working beautifully. I'm on repeat 12.... Bottom: Knitty.com's "Hedera" in Claudi handpaint....Next.. tiny socks for Noah In Regia. Noah socks are just plain cute. I must say. Besides, they're FAST.;) Finally....Koigu thoughtless socks for me... just something to knit at stop-lights;)
Here are the pics of my terrific
Close up of Kiri
Pal gifties I mentioned the other day! Top is my SP8
pile.... I forgot to mention the "Piddle loop* bag that I
had already tucked into my knitting bag!
Bottom... my Knit Sock Kit Pal Bags abd yarn... my
needles are on a project.. the candy was eaten by
male vultures... well.. and me;)
Top Left... is my Beautiful One Skein reveal pkg
A gorgeous Colinette Spiral bag.. and SOCKS THAT
ROCK.... In MIST. Oh I love it all!!!!!
Thnx again to my pals!
If you're looking for non- knitting content.... Visit The CWO Team Blog for my Post today on Prayer...
Or over to Missional Mom to find out if my neighbor is a terrorist......
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Missional Mom update... and CWO Team blog post;)
New post at Missional Mom....I haven't forgotten...;)
And a post at the CWO Team blog too;) I better get back to the laundry!
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Stuck? Unstuck. Traumatic, but OK.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity .~ Albert Einstein~
13+ years. At that point, over a third of my life! A "boss" I loved, a team that "worked" and had become a family. A calling that was holy. It was hard, exhausting, heart wrenchingly wonderful ministry. A place to dream and see dreams come true. A place where people were challenged and grew. A place where God worked in hearts and lives. A place where people met God. A place of connection. I loved it. I'd have stayed forever.
Then, everything changed. Why it changed, isn't as important to the story, as that it had. It wasn't good. But, I loved my people, my team, and I'd have stayed forever. Even though it was breaking my heart. Even though, ministry had become about pleasing a person, not pleasing God. And the person? Well, the person just wasn't going to be pleased.
I remember coming home from a terrible meeting one day, a meeting that made it evident that the ministry was over. I was sitting in the car, in the garage. Tears streaming down my face. Not the silent tear stained face cry, this was "the ugly cry". The red, swollen eyes, sobs and sounds you can't control, cry.
As I prayed and cried out to God, this song played, and my heart sang it as a prayer:
Ffh Lyrics - Lord Me Or Move Me Lyrics
I can't find the words to pray, I'm a little down today
Can you help me? Can you hold me?
I feel like a million miles away And I don't know what to say
Can you hear me anyway? What I need is for you to reach out your hand
You have taught me No matter what you'd understand
Lord move in a way, that I've never seen before
Cause there's a mountain in the way and a lock on the door
I'm drifting away, waves are crashing on the shore
So Lord move (move), or move me.
I've look every where to find
A simple peace of mind I can't find nothing on my own
So I got to leave myself behind
Take up this cross of mine Give away everything I hold onto
Lord I know the only way is through this
Lord I know I need you to help me do this
Lord move in a way, that I've never seen before
Cause there's a mountain in the way and a lock on the door
I'm drifting away, waves are crashing on the shore
So Lord move (move), or move me.
Out of this place of complacency To a place of fellowship with thee
Cause I am weak but Lord you are so strong
And you know it's been way too long (been way too long)
Lord move in the way, that I've never seen before
Cause there's a mountain in the way and I'll knock on the door
I'm drifting away, waves are crashing on the shore
So Lord move (move)...CHORUS
God moved. But, not in the direction that I had hoped. (I was kind of going for the "God makes the light go on, people change, and there is a happy ending way....")
Instead, we left. I hadn't just left a "job" or a "ministry" It was our home church. The place where I had grown up, spiritually. (well- as grown up as I was at that point, anyways;) It was the only church my kids had ever been to. It was my safe place. I knew the people, the people knew me.
Now, three years later, I can look back and see how "Stuck" I was. I have typed the words "I would have stayed forever" over and over, because I would have. The truth is- On my own? I couldn't leave. Like a tree whose roots dig deep to reach water, I was not going anywhere. I was stuck.
Once it was "over" and God had moved us, I was so broken. I was confused, and angry. I felt like my dreams had been stolen. The dreams of doing more for God, the vision for ministry that I had, was snatched away. I was broken for the people who I could no longer help. I knew God would send others, but what about me? There were times I thought about going back.
It must have been how the Israelites felt, when they started to get hungry, and could no longer see Egypt. In the wilderness.
That's where I was too. In the wilderness. The wilderness was scorching and grief filled. I took time to do nothing, but cry. I knew it was necessary. I had lost so much. It didn't HAVE to be this way. My daily life changed virtually over night. Relationships that were so strong changed, they had to be navigated in new ways. We had to "church shop." Yuck. I HATE church shopping, I'm about being a part of a body, not checking out new ones to graft onto.
The dreams in my heart started to feel like a pregnancy 3 weeks past it's due date. All I wanted was to "get back to work". But there was nowhere to go. I cried. I hate to cry.
Then, slowly, God opened up new opportunities. Opportunities I NEVER would have had, had I "stayed there forever". Opportunities I had never even would have THOUGHT of. Opportunites like, a new position in a ministry that I had been involved with, a position that would allow for greater impact on leaders, not just locally. An opportunity to try a new ministry and find out I loved it. Opportunities to stretch and grow, and to be with my family. And, the opportunity to write. Maybe, even have a few people read it;)
These were all things, I would have been too busy for. Things I was too stuck for.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity .~ Albert Einstein~
Dear Lord- I thank you for growing me in this desert time, I thank you for continuing to work in through and around me, I thank you God- for moving me, when I couldn't move myself- I love you Lord- and, where ver you call, I'll follow- even where it looks like a desert, because I know- that in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity- with YOU! amen.
Are you stuck? I'm praying that God moves, or moves you. You won't like it at first- but God will complete the work He has started in you.... He promised!
Monday, August 14, 2006
Tagged....... hmmmm fiction? thinking hard....
OK- the last time I was TAGGED--- I was 11, and I'm pretty sure it was cartoon tag.... this is different.... but still fun, and ya pretty much don't have to sweat- roll in fresh cut grass till you itch(somehow all games of tag when I was a child ended this way), or otherwise move away from your keyboard..... works for me, Thanx Tricia!
If you could write a novel about any subject, what would it be? (Just the subject–don’t give away your plot idea!)
Mom in The Middle.......The adventures of a mother who's been there done that and now, when she least expects it.... while parenting teens, she's doin' it again.......SURPRISE!
Instead of a 20 something mom- she's now a 3o something mom, pushing a stroller through college visits....singing rock and roll lullabyes....with teens who know the opening song to Dora the Explorer...an eclectic family, to say the least.
I see scenes where preschoolers roll their eyes like teenagers and where teenagers act like preschoolers... (ok- so that's not necessarity a stretch;)
I see a Mom in the middle- many of the moms her age are just starting out... and many are finished with the "little guy stuff".
Hmmmmm I guess it's true, you write what ya know.... cause THIS IS MY LIFE!
This one's a Mom in the Middle.
A family takin back their "hood" for God. A humorous look at a suburban family who loves God, and wants to reach out to the people around them. However- they live in a multi cultural neighborhood..... language and cultural obstacles abound....... can you say CULTURE SHOCK? Their approaches aren't always effective, but their hearts are in the right place, can God work through them? Definitely. Sometimes, even in spite of them. Besides, he's been known to speak through Donkeys, ya know!
The Executives Wife- Christian AND Executive? Yeah, interesting. Dress her up, take her out.... it's a little like playing dress-up for a little while but can she be herself in the world of business execs, dinner parties and industry events? Is it ethical to carry a "nada Prada?" (Prada bag knock off....) is it ethical to carry a REAL one?
The ethics questions get much more sticky. Can her husband honor God be a great Dad and be a great exec?
Trust me, it can be done..... although it gets interesting.
Now the question--- who to tag????????
First, in order to play- you'll have to go here and find out a bit more... I was tagged by Tricia.... and I think I'll tag....
Betsy Ann, Katrina, Addie, She Lives, and Dineen
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Hold my Hands, Daddy
"Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand."~ Emily Kimbrough ~
Daddy is crouched, hands extended. Mommy is crouched, facing him, hands extended, and holding onto tiny fingers. The little one bounces on tip toes, arms raised, grin extending from ear to ear and a wordless determination visibly worn on his face.
"One, Two, Three.... You can do it, keep going next foot!" Daddy says.
Mommy grits her teeth and holds her breath. There is a moment between steps where baby falters. Baby falls. Mommy and Daddy move in to console, comfort, then start the process again.
This time baby moves forward. Slow, mincing baby- steps. Tip-toe bouncing steps. Towards Daddy. (Or the couch...or from the couch to Mommy or to Daddy, each stroy may be a little different;)
Parent or not- most have witnessed the miracle of a baby learning to walk. It is a symphony of physics, determination and faith. Baby trusts parents. Parents trust the process. For all children, falls are an inevitable, albeit frightening, part of learning.
I have to admit, that many of my greatest learning experiences with Christ, have been the same. The times where I have been most deeply affected by His grace, have been the times where He has held my hands and taught me to walk, lifting me up when I stumble, in the same way a parent teaches a child.
God's Love for Israel (vs. 1-4)
"When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images. It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them. "
The book of Hosea is an interesting one. God calls Hosea to live a life of parallel to Israels' unfaithfulness. God calls Hosea, as a prophet, to marry a prostitute. Excuse me? Say what? that would be my response, yet God had something special in mind. Hosea obeyed. Hosea's life becomes an experience of both God's grace, and His patience. "It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking him by the arms...but they did not realize it was I who healed them"
I remember teaching my children to walk. Over and over (we have 3 sons) we lived the opening paragraphs of this article. I remember each time, the nervous task of letting go and being fully aware that my precious little one would fall. And fall again. I remember the bumps and bruises. I remember my temptation to envelope them in bubble wrap. (Well- I remember the temptation to skip all the pain and carry them forever- man am I glad I didn't do that- my 17 year old would crush me in a heartbeat!)
With each step, we cheered. With each fall, we comforted then, we encouraged another try.
We never screamed at the little learner "What's the matter with you? Stop FALLING. WALK!"
Yet- I can't tell you how many times- I've been afraid that God would take just that attitude with me, as I stumble along through my faith walk. Somedays I stumble in sin. (ummm OK truthfully, I stumble into some sort of sin every DAY!) Somedays, I struggle to hold onto My Heavenly Fathers hands- because the path I am walking is bumpy, there are obstacles, and I don't know how to avoid them. Somedays, God carries me- others- He always me to walk.
In my fear, my sin, my pride,- I sometimes let go, I fall.
And My Heavenly Father is there to lift me up, dust me off, encourage me, and teach me some more. He doesn't scream at us when we fall- He holds our hands and teaches us to walk. He knows our falls are a necessary part of learning to walk.
Every journey is full of small steps, every child learns to walk in a similar way, by falling, getting up, trying again. So do I, I'm just glad I am not learning to walk alone. I have my heavenly Father, holding my hands.
Dear Lord- I thank you for each step, for teaching me to walk, for letting me fall so that I can yet again be lifted up and comforted by you, so that I can learn to run. Someday Lord- I look forward to running with you....I love you Lord- amen.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Today you can find my post at:
The Christian Women Online Team Blog
Here is a Prickly hint:
See you there!
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Nearsighted/ Farsighted Grace
I was in kindergarten. The teacher thought there was something wrong with me, my "letters" weren't legible. I needed to "Practice". It was kindergarten- LIGHTEN UP!
First grade? More of the same. Hmmmm maybe there is a problem?
Then, the state (or whomever does these things) ran the "vision testing". I flunked.
That's when we discovered I am "Hyperopic". I'm farsighted. I see things more clearly when they are farther away. Close work, like reading, and knitting- without glasses makes my eyes "tired". As I also have "Amblyopia" when my eyes are tired, I end up cross-eyed. It's an interesting look, if I do say so myself.
Vain as I am, I spent years NOT wearing glasses. Getting headaches. Having TERRIBLE handwriting. ( I always will it's too late- I don't care- I have a lap top;) I finally decided seeing is better than vanity. (It's only taken 3o some+ years) I like being able to see and read and knit without feeling like I'm going crosseyed. I wear my glasses.
Sorry for hiding/losing my glasses for all those years, mom;) I think I have recently discovered a few other types of vision problems I may have--- I may be experiencing farsighted grace, as well.
I've been study alot about grace lately. (bear with me- it's connected) There are a number of approaches to the Doctrines of Grace- but the bottom line is- that God- is full of Grace- Grace is His giving us (eternal life) when what we really deserve- is well.... (not) A gift is soething we can't earn, nor can we buy, for ourselves- but we CAN share.
We are called as Christians, to be extensions of Grace, we are to be full of grace towards others- loving patient, kind, and gracious, forgiving. Ours is the ministry of reconciliation.
2 Corinthinians 5:11-21
The Ministry of Reconciliation
"Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
Reconciliation, isn't a word I use in everyday life. The only thing I "reconcile" is my check book. I don't LIKE to ( I hate math) , I do it mostly, cause, if I don't, I make a mess of my finances. ( gee, wonder how I know that? Don't ask..)
Reconciliation in relationships is the calling. When we don't reconcile ourselves to God- and to each other- we make a mess of our relationships, too.
The problem? Sometimes, it's easier to be "graceful" when the people that have "sinned" are far away. Farsighted Grace.
Like, say for instance "Mel Gibson" I was pretty quick to say, He said he's sorry- he's taking responsibility, he's getting help, he's asking for forgiveness.... it was the booze talkin.......let it go, people.
As Mel is not exactly my best friend- nor a family member- he's not CLOSE work for me. But remember, I'm farsighted. It's not the far away things that are tough- it's the close up stuff.
But, I was thinking, what about the people who ARE close work for me? My family, spouse, kids, friends, acquaintances..... am I a minister of reconciliation there? Or do I need to put some spiritual glasses on?
My problem isn't so much for the BIG hurts, but the little ones. Rather like my checking account. It's not the BIG things that throw off my reconciling it... it't the little ones. The debit card charges for $20. that I forget to write in. The $50 charge for gas.... the $7.12 at CVS.
Those are the little things, that throw my account all out of whack.
Then there are the times- when someone hurts someone I love- and my "vision" somehow shifts to "Nearsighted". I am so angry with the offender- that I can't for the life of me view them through Grace- because I hold them so far off- way out of my nearsighted view. I suffer from bad vision of all types on ocassion.
In relationships, we need to make sure, that we are reconciled. Every day. The big things, the small things. All of them.
Grace isn't just a theory-it's a gift. Reconciliation is a holy calling.
I don't think the answer is to poke our eyes out and pretend like we can't see-feel the offenses- (besides, that would hurt) I think the key is to recognize the gift we've been given, and to be willing to share it.
It's also key to wear the dang glasses. Nearsighted ones for nearsighted days- farsighted ones for farsighted days... though- I suppose I am proposing BIFOCALS! (I didn't think I was quite that old- but apparently- I may be;) In my experience, when I don't- it's the same as hiding my glasses in Jr High- I just end up with a headache.
Christ has paid the price. Who am I to demand further payment?
The truth is- I think most of us suffer with eye trouble ocassionally- for some we may struggle with being farsighted- for others- we're nearsighted, in our view of grace. We may find it easier to be gracious to those who are close- while witholding grace from those who are outside our close circle.
What about you? Are you Nearsighted? Farsighted? Is this whole conversation making you "crosseyed"?
In a way- I suppose it should- we all should be cross eyed- focused on this cross- and yes- I totally get the somewhat cheese of wordplay on that statement- but it's still true. ;)
Somehow- when I see myself and others through what Christ has done- it's lens brings all else into a grace filled focus. Yep- just like those really awesome lineless bifocals... well- ok- maybe not JUST like them-- but you know- it's an ANALOGY;)
Dear Lord- I pray that I will always be crosseyed- in the good way- help me be a gracefilled minister of reconciliation- to those both near and far- I Love you Lord- and thank you for the free gift of your grace- help me to share that gift with others- amen
Males must click away- this is a girlfriend post- you've been warned.
Things I learned about myself this week.......
Some, I wish I didn't know.
The Mom, according to the Noah:
"Mom, your b**bs are loooooog"
(Can't a mom just get dressed, without being walked in on, and having a 4 year old, do color commentary? Man!)
"Mom, your butt is "boinky"
(boinky- think bouncy- this was stated while I was standing at the kitchen counter making dinner and he was bouncing his head into my left bum cheek, while singing a song... this kid needs to go to school ;)
"Mom,you have cool zebra stripes!"
(Just LOVE bathing suit season, don't you? Those are stretch marks, baby- and they are YOUR fault. I thought it, but I didn't SAY it.)
"Mom, you're so beautiful I can't take my eyes off you"
(Yes, he's mouthy, but smart. He must have sensed, he was at risk of being cut off from his fruit snack supply, this is his favorite suck- up comment. And, yes- it works.)
Random words from Noah:
"Mom? Sami is dripping." (It's hot. Dog's pant, honey.)
"Does Sami have a belly button?" (Apparently dogs do- fyi. And yes- as per the norm, Daddy was right on this one- Mommy was wrong.)
"Underwear are drippy, pull-ups are better" Kind of defeats the potty training plan, but he's got a point.
Dear Lord- I love my boys- please help me not kill them. Amen